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Journal 2!

Here is the second journal I have made on Sue’s course.  I made the outside with some yummy silk dupion which has been on my shelves for some time, too nice to use until now.

silk journal

It is a bit smaller than A4 landscape size and is meant to be a sketchbook, although I’ve got a feeling I will be a bit wary of using it because I won’t want to get any marks on it!

The button is a ceramic one which I bought in a button shop in one of the arcades in Cardiff ages ago.

ceramic button on silk sketchbook

It is covering up velcro actually, rather than being a functional button….   We put grommets along the spine to hold those rings like you have in ring binders, which will open.  I’m not very happy with mine, mainly because I had to purloin them from a photograph album I made in the 80s and they are rather stiff!  But I couldn’t find any locally.

spine of journal

We painted watercolour paper to go inside the book.  I painted this one with a mixture of walnut inks and acrylic ink and water and laid clingfilm on top to produce the texture.  I made some tags out of it too.

painted paper and tags

This one is just acrylic inks (with a bit of white acrylic paint to make the red ink pink), diluted with water and with clingfilm added.  I think this looks a bit like fireworks!  I like the way you can manipulate the clingfilm to influence the patterns you get, although it is still unpredictable. 

pink and blue watercolour paper

You can just see the pockets in the inside of the sketchbook.  These are for holding pens and other paraphernalia.  The fabric is some Australian eucalyptus leaf fabric which I received in a swap. 

If you want to have a look at lots more journals which people have been making, Sue opened a Flickr Group – you can view the photos even though you can’t join the group unless you are in the class.

By way of a change, I thought I’d post a photo of my three boys sitting opposite me on the Tube last week.  We went to London to see the First Emperor exhibition in the British Museum – the first time any of the Terracotta Army warriors have left China.    I don’t post photos of them very often but I thought this was so funny.  DS2 and 3 don’t get on and you can tell!  This was the only one I managed to get with DS2’s head in it – in all the others, he managed to avoid me by hiding behind a newspaper!

travelling on the tube

I didn’t take many photos in London, but shot this garage as it looks so old fashioned – it is in the heart of Bloomsbury and I could just see Bertie Wooster (well, Jeeves actually I suppose) filling up the car there….

Bloomsbury service station

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Online Journal Making Course

On Friday I signed up for an online Journal Making Course run by Sue Bleiweiss – it was quite a spur of the moment decision as it actually started a week ago and sign ups were ending that day.  It is a 5 week course and we are making a different sort of journal/sketchbook each week.

I started making the first one on Saturday, and finished today!  Sue’s instructions are really clear and straightforward and I am so glad of the opportunity to use up all those handdyed fabrics and painted papers and other such stuff which has been building up over the past few years.  I seem to enjoy painting them so much more than actually making them into anything!

Here is the journal – I dyed the fabric about two years ago and haven’t touched it since then. 

journal 1 - outside

I satin stitched the edges with a raggedy satin stitch which is one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine that I use a lot.   I bought some dragonfly brads on our trip to London last week and used it for the fastening cover:


This is the back:


I decided that as the fabric covered reminded me a bit of leaves and trees, I would make it into a trees theme inside.  We stitched three signatures, which are groups of paper stitched together, into the journal, and I added some decorated papers and purchased handmade paper.

paper inside journal

This is either mulberry or lokta paper with leaves embedded into it.

gocco seedhead on Japanese paper inside journal

I goccoed this seedhead on to painted Japanese paper – it is really thin but very strong.  It is a sort of chequered design.

blue decorated paper in journal

This is some blue paper I painted years ago with melted wax crayons and brusho powder paints.

I lined the journal with some screenprinted silk and added pockets – this one is from some goccoed fabric which you may recognise if you are a regular reader of this blog!

first page of journal with pocket and tag

I have also got a green fabric pocket and have stamped some trees on to the first page – I bought this stamp last week at a craft market in the grounds of St James’, Piccadilly – it is brass, and I couldn’t resist trying it out.


This is another pocket glued on to cardstock – the front of it is from a magazine picture of some trees in snow.

If you would like to see any of the other journals made by people on the course, here are a few other bloggers who are doing it:

It is amazing how different each journal is! 

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New Year Challenges

I have signed up to a couple of challenges for the New Year. I seem to work better with deadlines so I hope this will push me and that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew!

The two I have signed up for are:

  • Dijanne’s Expressive Books Challenge– to create a handmade book inspired by our own work. I like the idea of this one, because I have played with making books before and made them for City & Guilds, but never really put my heart into making one! Since C&G, I have kept a motley collection of sketchbooks but I would like to have the discipline to plan and make one from start to finish.
  • Sharon’s Take It Further Challenge – I followed Sharon’s TAST challenge last year wishing I did hand stitching and could join in! So I kept an eye open for her 2008 challenge and liked the sound of it. Sharon is going to give participants a theme each month and we have to develop that in our own way. And blog it – so you’ll be hearing a lot more about it as time goes by.
  • For January, also, I have signed up for an online course with Pamela Allen called Think like an artist. I have long admired Pamela’s work and am looking forward to taking part.

    I also want to do more screenprinting and collaging next year and hope to incorporate the results in the above challenges.

    Not forgetting, of course, the shawl knitalong…

    Golly, all written down like this makes it look rather intimidating:)

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